God’s common grace was one of the themes of ‘Issues facing Christians today’ — a Christian Institute (CI) roadshow, held at Witard Road Baptist Church, Norwich, in late January.
Three members of the CI’s team presented the biblical principles of common grace, set against examples of the different kinds of work they are involved with. Updates were given of recent high-profile legal cases affecting religious liberty, as well as on lobbying campaigns about such things as free speech.
Based on Jeremiah 29:7, common grace, they explained, reflects God’s blessings upon an individual, city or nation, outside of the realm of salvation. It produces good deeds, good role models, good blessings and good skills. According to 1 Timothy 2:1-7, it allows a safe and peaceable environment for preaching the gospel.
Common grace is therefore linked to gospel proclamation, and so it is essential that Christians lobby our legislators when this is under threat.
Christians were encouraged to write to their MPs or members of the House of Lords; to use the law — in cases of unfair dismissal, for example; and to get involved when issues are debated in the media, by phoning in or writing letters to newspapers.
Above all, there is an urgent need to pray that common grace may not be hindered or frustrated. Appropriately, news arrived during the session that the House of Lords had voted down an amendment that would have made sex education compulsory in state primary schools.
The meeting was attended by Christians from a number of local churches and there was a comprehensive book table, with many of the CI’s helpful publications freely available.